My name is Keegan and my Dad was dead. It had just been him and I for years. I stood in the doorway, Dad, lifeless on the bed. He was clothed in just his boxers, lying exactly how I had left him this morning to leave for school. Shit, school had been suckfull again, piece of crap place. A tear rolled down my eye. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialed triple zero.
“Location,” I rattled off our address of six months.
“Police, Fire or Ambulance,” the voice asked me.
“Um, I don’t know, Dad’s dead. Police I guess.”
“Sorry, your father is dead.”
“How do you know?”
“Um, because there’s a fucking hole where his heart is meant to be,” I snapped.
“Police and Ambulance are on their way. Is there anyone else with you?”
“No. It’s just me and him.” My Dad looked peaceful if you just looked at everything except his chest cavity.
“Police are three minutes away,” the operator said. “I don’t want you to hang up. What’s your name?”
“Why is my Dad dead?” I asked him.
“My name is Dorian. Sweetie,”
“Fuck you,” I interrupted. “Sweetie! Who the hell do you think I am?”
“A child who just lost his father, it doesn’t look like it now, but it will be okay.”
“I can hear siren’s Dad’s dead. He isn’t going anywhere and he’s not alive. He doesn’t have a fucking heart.” I hung up. The phone rang back almost instantly but I didn’t answer. I dropped my school bag and walked forward. “We won the game Dad,” I said to the silent room. I sunk down against the wardrobe doors, phone ringing, looking at my silent father. His skin drained of color.
“Police,” someone hammered on the door. I ignored them, it was unlocked.
“Police,” they repeated louder. “Police coming in,” they called. Another siren approached.
The screen door gave its characteristic squeak and two sets of boots sounded on the timber floors.
The second siren stopped and I don’t know why they sent whoever happening with lights and sirens.
“Shit Mac,” a deep voice sounded. I didn’t look but I knew there was a police officer in the door.
“The caller was right. He is dead.”
“So where is the kid?” whatever else was going to be said died on his tongue as the fellow peered into the room. “Hey,” the man came closer to me and got down in front of me. “Are you the one who called?” he asked. I nodded. “Is this your dad,” he asked. I nodded.
“Come on, let’s go into the kitchen. I can make you a cup of tea if you want.” I nodded. He stood and he offered me his hand for a lift up. I shunned it and got myself up and headed into the kitchen.
“Is this your school bag,” he asked as I stepped over the bag in the doorway.
“Yep,” I said.
“Best leave it,” he said as I stooped to pick it up.
I walked past Ambulance officers and heard one of them mutter softly.
“What’s the bloody point of us coming here?” The fellow must have had a crappy day. He was not the only one.
“I told them he was dead.” I heard the words come out of my mouth in a snarl. Crap. Dad and I had already been through shit. We’d lost our house when Mum died. Dad couldn’t work, care for Mum and pay all the bills on top of the mortgage. That had been a few years ago. Dad and I had only just purchased this house. I was working part-time now. Dad was back at work too. He worked nights because it paid more. He’d been asleep when I left for school this morning.
“Sit down son,” the police officer said.
“I’m not your fucking son,” I spat back.
I looked at my hands and I touched the back of one. It was soft, the fine lines and hair follicles prominent at the moment. No one touched me these days, just Dad, a quick hug in the afternoon. No girlfriend for either of us. I was alone.
Someone bustled along in the kitchen and I heard the click of the kettle.
A few minutes later a cup of tea was put in front of me. It had milk and I could smell the sugar.
“I’m Sargent Parker. Have you been at school today?” He asked me.
“And you go to Fredda’s State High?”
“Yeah, Year 11.”
“You got anyone to come and sit with you.” He asked.
“Mum’s dead,” I said. Then I paused. “But I can go to my Aunt’s.”
I didn’t have an aunt but I had a friend’s mother who was sick too. I could head over there. She wouldn’t ask too many questions as long I was there to help out with her care. I could pretend to head home and double back to sleep on the couch when she was asleep.
“I’m just going to check on something. Why don’t you give your aunt a call?” The man slid my phone over to me.
I picked up my phone and texted my friend if I could stay over. A beep came back that it was fine.
Then I sat back and listened.
“Thanks for that,” the sergeant got off the phone and he came back into the room. He’d just eaten McDonald’s and I could smell the chips on him, him or someone else. I could smell the neighbor’s roses and something foul in the bin. I could also smell disinfectant and blood; Dad’s blood. It smelt metallic.
An ambulance officer sat opposite me. “How are you going?”
“Okay,” I replied.
“Only this is a pretty big shock. Sometimes things like this can hit us much latter especially if we have no one to help us. I can give child services a call.”
I remained silent.
“He has an aunt he’s going to stay with.” The police officer responded. “But before I take you over, I just need for you to take me through everything that happened from when he woke up this morning,” the police officer asked.
“I woke up and got ready for school. Dad was already in bed asleep. He worked until 3am.” I have them the name of the business that Dad worked at as a cleaner. “Normally he’d sleep until about midday and then get up. He started work at about 7pm so on a normal day we would cook and then eat an early dinner. I worked last night so I didn’t see him before he left for work.”
“How was he this morning,” the officer asked.
“Asleep. Lying exactly how he is now.”
“What about when you arrived home from school? Was anything strange about that?”
“I walked. I was meant to stay for tutoring but I couldn’t be bothered so I headed home. I unlocked the front door which is odd because Dad is normally awake by then. I came into his room and saw him. I called emergency.”
I sipped my tea and re-answered some questions.
“You’ll want to take some things to your aunt’s. This place will be out of bounds until Forensics been. It could be a few hours before you are allowed back and you might not want to come back at all.”
I did not have a clue what to say. When Mum had died, she’d been at home too, but that hadn’t been murder.
His radio squawked and his mobile phone. In fact, everyone’s mobile started going off. I slipped down to my room and grabbed a couple of things before pushing the window screens out of the road and climbing over the sill. I did not need a lift to my “Aunt’s” place and I definitely did not want company.
You see, here’s the thing. I’m not exactly sure I’m human.